The Progress of Nations: The Convention on the Rights of the Child

The right to know about rights

40 of the 43 countries are informing people about the Convention.

People who know their rights are better able to claim them. Making the Convention and its provisions widely known is therefore an essential step in promoting children's rights.

Different countries have publicized the Convention in different ways. Viet Nam organized a 'Get to Know the Convention' contest that drew 250,000 entries from schoolchildren. The Jamaica Coalition on the Rights of the Child has conducted an island-wide public education campaign on child rights. Mozambique staged 'national elections' on child rights in 1994.

In Nicaragua, a children's movement is attempting to educate children as well as adults about child rights. In France, a media campaign is informing young people of their right to consult a lawyer. In Sweden, copies of the Convention have been distributed throughout the country, including translations for immigrant communities in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Spanish, and Turkish.

Many other countries have also translated the Convention into local languages. In Poland, NGOs have organized media crusades, including a regular television show that educates the public about the Convention and targets abuses. Namibia has launched a set of family law booklets that are a popularized version of the rights of children. In Colombia, the Government's public awareness campaign conducted through the media, the bureaucracy, and the schools is called 'There Are No Small Rights'.

The notion of children having rights is a relatively new concept, and many countries are running training programmes for teachers and social workers. Thousands of educators in the Dominican Republic are now using the 'Teachers' Guide on the Rights of Children'. In Swaziland, child rights have become an integral part of the training curriculum for rural health motivators, the country's largest group of social workers.

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